Tesla: Autopilot unlikely factor in fatal Indy crash

Casey Speckman, 27, and Kevin McCarthy, 44, were killed when the 2015 Model S lost control and crashed into a tree


By Vic Ryckaert
The Indianapolis Star

INDIANAPOLIS — Tesla Motors says its Autopilot feature was unlikely to have been engaged when one of its vehicles crashed near Downtown early Thursday, killing two.

“We are deeply saddened to hear that this accident involved fatalities,” the Palo Alto, California-based company said in a statement released late Thursday, according to the Associate Press.

Casey Speckman, 27, and Kevin McCarthy, 44, were killed when the 2015 Model S lost control and crashed into a tree and building near Illinois and 16th streets shortly after 1 a.m. The vehicle disintegrated, leaving a debris field for about 150 yards, according to Indianapolis Fire Department Battalion Chief Rita Reith.

Base on witnesses and the evidence, authorities believe the Tesla was speeding when it crashed.

Tesla said the Autopilot feature would have topped out at 35 mph on Illinois Street.

The electric car maker said it’s cooperating with Indianapolis police, the AP reported.

The car was too damaged to transmit data to the company’s servers, Tesla said. That data would show if the car had been in Autopilot mode.

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